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What causes cramping in calves and feet cramp at night?

Jul 2013
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 2148 Questions
My calves and feet cramp during the night. My toes point every direction except the right way. It's very painful. I have arthritis in my knees and am anticipating replacing my knees but since this has come up, I'm not sure.
Posted Tue, 18 Feb 2014 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 27 minutes later
Brief Answer: They might be simple Nocturnal cramps. Detailed Answer: Hi, thanks for writing to XXXXXXX Based upon the description of your symptoms, most propably they could be simple nocturnal muscle cramps which typically involve the lower legs. Most of the time, night leg cramps occur for no known reason, and they're usually harmless. In general, night leg cramps are likely to be related to muscle fatigue and nerve problems. In rare situations, night leg cramps can be associated with an underlying disorder, such as peripheral artery disease — in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs — diabetes or spinal stenosis. So, a detailed clinical examination and appropriate investigations are needed to establish the underlying cause for your symptoms. Try the below mentioned general measures to see if your symptoms improve : Activities that might help prevent leg cramps include: • Drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration • Stretching your leg muscles or riding a stationary bicycle for a few minutes before you go to bed • Massaging the cramped muscle with your hands or with ice • Walking or jiggling the leg • Taking a hot shower or warm bath • These cramps at times may be associated with POTASSIUM deficiency and so foods such as bananas, potatoes, prune juice and dried fruit are to be taken as dietary supplement. • Also, calcium fortified foods like seafood and fish, almonds, flaxseed, oats, prunes, sesame seeds, tofu and XXXXXXX can help to stave off muscle pain & spasm. • Avoid acidic foods and drinks like tomatoes and vinegar which blocks the body’s natural ability to absorb calcium leading to muscle aches & muscle fatigue. If your symptoms are not improving with the above measures, consult an orthopedic surgeon/Neurologist for a detailed evaluation. Hope I have addressed your query. Happy to help further Regards
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